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Utah Legislature strikes so-called ‘no-promo homo’ law

First Published      Last Updated Mar 08 2017 10:16 pm

Utah's Legislature has passed a bill repealing possibly unconstitutional language prohibiting advocacy of homosexuality in public schools' health classes.

SB196 won final Senate approval Wednesday 27-1 with only Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, voting against it.

The bill removing the so-called "no-promo homo" language was introduced in the Legislature after Equality Utah sued the state for what it said was a discriminatory policy. A federal judge stayed the lawsuit in late February pending the outcome of the legislation.

Equality Utah executive director Troy Williams called it "a historic day for LGBTQ students in Utah."

"The removal of this discriminatory language from the school curriculum laws will send a positive message that all students are valued in Utah."



Sponsoring Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, amended the statute to say that Utah's abstinence-only sex education classes will now stress "the importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity after marriage."

Gov. Gary Herbert will now receive the bill for either his signature or veto. The lawsuit could resume if he does not sign SB196.

University of Utah law professor Cliff Rosky, a member of Equality Utah's Advisory Council, said SB196 creates a law under which "all students are equal."

Rosky expressed confidence that Equality Utah, in cooperation with state attorneys, the State Board of Education and local school districts can resolve the lawsuit "by ensuring that the intent of SB196 is carried out in all of our state's public schools and charter schools."

— Dan Harrie

 

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